Kowloon’s Gate Sequel Kowloon’s Rhizome Announced
Feng Shui themed Kowloon's Rhizome will be a "back streets open-world" set in a 2025 version of Guangming Road in Shangai.
Surprising every 30+ years old gamer in Japan, a sequel for Kowloon’s Gate was announced on November 11, titled Kowloon’s Rhizome. The announcement was made via a Twitter account made for the occasion.
The original Kowloon’s Gate never left Japan and first released on PS1 on February 28, 1997. Developed by Zeque, Kowloon’s Gate is a 1st person adventure game. The game is themed around Feng Shui. In the story, the Kowloon Walled City was sent from the world of the living, Yang, to the parallel world of Yin. However, on June 22, 1997, before the handover of Hong Kong, the Kowloon Walled City mysteriously reappeared from the parallel world. If the city isn’t sent back, the balance between Yin and Yang will collapse, and the world will be destroyed. The players control a male unseen protagonist, as the game is in first person. The protagonist is a Super Feng Shui Practitioner who was sent to the Walled City by the Hong Kong Supreme Feng Shui Conference, in order to send the city back.
The sequel, Kowloon’s Rhizome, will be a “back streets open-world” game set in a 2025 fictional Guangming Road in Shangai. A short teaser video was published as well, and it seems the game will be in 1st person like the original:
— クーロン2〈次世代版〉計画進行中！ (@kgproject4) November 11, 2019
The tweet also gives a bit of lore on Kowloon’s Rhizome. The inhabitants of Guangming Road protect themselves from evil spirits by using digital skin called “Sleeve”. This explains why the characters look transparent. The person in charge of the “pseudo-Kowloon’s Gate official Twitter account”, an ex-member of the now-defunct Zeque, mentioned Guangming Road was also the stage of an abandoned sequel project named Kowloon’s Gate If.
I only know Kowloon’s Gate reputation as a cult classic, but I’ve never tried it out myself yet. You can easily tell how beloved the game is though seeing this sequel announcement is making the rounds on Japanese Twitter. Kowloon’s walled city was probably one of the worst places on earth to live unless you were rich, but you can’t help but be fascinated with it. Especially thanks to works of art like Shenmue 2 and their cities inspired by it.
To give you a better idea of how legendary Kowloon’s Gate is in Japan: a game titled Kowloon’s Gate VR Suzaku was also released on PS VR in October 2017. This game was crowdfunded in 15 days and received 9,077,255 Yen, over 3 times the amount needed for its goal.
— 好評発売中クーロンズゲートVR公式 (@kowloonsgate_vr) June 18, 2019
The original Kowloon’s Gate might also be coming to Switch at some point, though the tweet mentions “it’s still a long, dark road ahead”.
Kowloon’s Rhizome has currently no platforms or release date estimate announced. There’s a high chance it’ll be for PS VR though. We’ll be sure to tell you more as soon as possible. Seeing a 23 years old game getting a sequel is really interesting, fresh and surprising.
As a related note, the managers of Kawasaki Warehouse and Kowloon’s Gate‘s original staff are acquainted. Kawasaki Warehouse is an arcade in Japan mostly inspired by Kowloon Walled City. Sadly, as you might have heard already, it’s closing down definitively on November 17.